Sony has released two flagship phones this year. First they showed off the Sony Xperia Z2, a fantastic phone that I reviewed earlier this year. Now the Xperia Z3 is available and promising to be even better. Can it live up to expectations?

See me, feel me

Xperia Z3

Much like a woman influenced by modern media, phones are always trying to be thinner and sleeker. The Sony Z3 does just that. Weighing in at 152 grams and only 7.3mm thick, the Z3 is a delight to hold in your hand. It has a nice big screen at 5.2″ but is still comfortable to maneuver for daily use.

With metallic bevelled edges and the elimination of some of the Z2’s sharp corners, the Z3 looks completely modern. It has glass finishes on the front and back, making it feel like you’re holding the future. Unfortunately, the future is also incredibly slippery – the phone would often slide around on smooth surfaces or fall off the couch or sink when I was busy with other activities. Luckily, it is more durable that the previous iteration, and its waterproof ability was put to the test, too. I’d still recommend a cover for the device, simply to take away some of the slipperiness.

Live with it

Xperia Z3 1

What do you do on your phone on a daily basis? Personally, my time is split between messaging via Whatsapp or text, engaging on social media and occasionally taking pictures and browsing the web. Depending on how much I use my phone, I typically run low or out of battery by the end of the day, just in time for its daily recharge. The Xperia Z3 changes that.

My review unit for the Z3 didn’t come with a phone charger. This meant that I had to share my charger, or connect it directly to my computer to charge. I was worried that this was going to be a real nightmare, but my concern was completely unnecessary. The battery actually lasts for two days. Yes, that’s with the WiFi permanently on, and frequent use of a variety of apps, which I generally forget to close so probably run in the background for that whole time.

This feature alone makes the Z3 an incredible device – I was able to travel, live and do whatever was necessary on my phone without worrying about the battery dying on me. Of course, the closer to empty the battery gets the faster it seems to run out, but it is incredibly liberating to use a phone that doesn’t require a recharge every night.

Similarly impressive is the camera on the Z3. Unlike the Z2, the 20.7 MP camera doesn’t feel slow. Taking pictures is quick and clear with some excellent quality. The front-facing camera is only a 2.2 MP, so the selfies aren’t quite as stellar as the normal pictures, but they are still passable for use on Facebook, twitter or Instagram. There are also a ton of modes and options for the camera built in, so you can take the best possible picture or video for the occasion.

Make it (sn)appy!

Xperia Z3 app

The Xperia Z3 comes with all the usual apps you might expect from an Android phone – Gmail, YouTube and all your social media stables. It also comes with the usual Walkman app that Sony so proudly owns and only audiophiles really care about anymore. However, my Z3 also came pre-loaded with the PlayStation app. No, this isn’t bloatware, it works really well. You can do the usual things like claim your PS Plus games for the month or manage your PSN account, but best of all you can link with your PS4. It’s really quite a snap to organize and jump into remote play as necessary.

The Sony version of Android is spectacular – it feels so slick and intuitive. It was easy to set up my front screen to ensure that all my favorite apps were readily accessible and I found everything I wanted quickly and easily. Plus, thanks to a top notch processor, the phone runs ridiculously fast. I never lagged, stuttered or waited for an app to load.


Camera and video

  • 20.7 megapixel camera with auto focus
  • 8x digital zoom
  • ISO 12800 maximum
  • Sony Exmor RS for mobile image sensor
  • 4K video recording
  • Front-facing camera, HD 1080p for video chat and 2.2 MP for camera capture
  • Pulsed LED flash
  • SteadyShot™ – video stabilisation
  • Superior Auto – automatic scene selection
  • HDR for photos and videos
  • Burst mode
  • Social live**
  • Image stabiliser
  • Geotagging – add location info to your photos
  • Object tracking – lock focus on a specific object
  • Red-eye reduction
  • Image capture, supported file format: JPEG
  • Image playback, supported file formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP
  • Video capture, supported file formats: 3GPP, MP4
  • Video playback, supported file formats: 3GPP, MP4, Matroska, AVI, Xvid, WebM


  • UMTS HSPA (3G)
  • LTE (4G) (not available in all markets)

Display and design

  • 5.2″ Full HD display (1920×1080 pixels)
  • TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile
  • X-Reality™ for mobile picture engine

Processor (CPU)

  • Snapdragon 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Quad-core
  • Adreno 330 GPU

Memory and storage

  • 3 GB RAM
  • Up to 16 GB flash memory
  • Up to 128 GB microSD™ (card slot, SDXC supported)


  • Sony 3D Surround Sound technology (VPT)
  • Clear Audio+ – Sound improvement software
  • xLoud™ Experience
  • High-res audio
  • Audio recording, supported file formats: 3GPP, MP4, AMR
  • Audio playback, supported file formats: 3GPP, MP4, ADTS, AMR, DSF, DSDIFF, FLAC, Matroska, SMF, XMF, Mobile XMF, OTA, RTTTL, RTX, iMelody, MP3, WAV, OGG, ASF


  • aGPS
  • Bluetooth® 4.0 wireless technology
  • 3.5 mm audio jack with Digital Noise Cancelling (DNC)
  • DLNA Certified®
  • NFC
  • Native USB tethering
  • Synchronisation via Exchange ActiveSync®, Facebook™, Google™ and SyncML™
  • USB High speed 2.0 and Micro USB support
  • Wi-Fi® and Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality
  • ANT+ wireless technology

Last Updated: December 15, 2014

Sony Xperia Z3
With excellent durability, beautiful design and a stellar interface, the Xperia Z3 is the best Android phone you can get


  1. ZachGroenewald

    December 15, 2014 at 15:40

    No mention of Remote Play? If that’s solid and low latency I’ll cash in my upgrade, otherwise I’ll hold on to my SGS4 or a while…


    • maariyathomas313

      December 15, 2014 at 15:51

      I­­­­­­­­­ am ­­­­­­­­­making ­­­­­­­­­a ­­­­­­­­­good ­­­­­­­­­salary ­­­­­­­­­from ­­­­­­­­­home ­­­­­­­­­$5500­­­­­­­­­-­­­­­­­­­$7000/week , ­­­­­­­­­which ­­­­­­­­­is ­­­­­­­­­amazing, ­­­­­­­­­under ­­­­­­­­­a ­­­­­­­­­year ­­­­­­­­­ago I ­­­­­­­­­was ­­­­­­­­­jobless ­­­­­­­­­in ­­­­­­­­­a ­­­­­­­­­horrible ­­­­­­­­­economy. ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­thank ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­God ­­­­­­­­­every ­­­­­­­­­day ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­was ­­­­­­­­­blessed ­­­­­­­­­with ­­­­­­­­­these ­­­­­­­­­instructions and ­­­­­­­­­now ­­­­­­­­­it’s ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­my ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­duty ­­­­­­­­­to ­­­­­­­­­pay ­­­­­­­­­it ­­­­­­­­­forward ­­­­­­­­­and share ­­­­­­­­­it ­­­­­­­­­with ­­­­­­­­­Everyone, ­­­­­­­­­Here ­­­­­­­­­is ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­started,,,,,,­­­­­­­­­

      >>>>>>>>>> w.a?ch.??/BP85dO


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    December 15, 2014 at 15:40

    So close Llew, so close. 😉


  3. Matewis Jubilai

    December 15, 2014 at 15:45

    Waterproof? Sounds like my kind of phone 😛


  4. Lardus-Resident Perve

    December 15, 2014 at 15:51

    I have the Samsung Galaxy, which has a lot of bloatware pre-loaded. How does this phone do with the bloat?


    • ReaperOfSquirrels

      December 15, 2014 at 16:04

      Probably a lot better than the S5 seeing that the Z3 has 3GB of ram vs the “2GB” on the S5 (Mine shows 1.75GB)


    • geelslang

      December 15, 2014 at 16:17

      Less bloat, but still a fair amount of apps pre-installed. I had a Galaxy S3 before this phone. This is less gimmicky than the Samsungs.


  5. geelslang

    December 15, 2014 at 16:14

    I own a Z3 and with light use I get 4 days battery life, like Zoe said 2 days with medium to heavy use and you willl have to play games the whole day if you want to drain the battery in one day. That alone makes this phone worth buying.

    Its fast, have a great screen, waterproof(not tested), good camera and it feels expensive. I dont own a PS4 so no remote play for me.


  6. FoxOneZA

    December 15, 2014 at 16:23

    Problem with the Z3 is it’s priced to go head-on with the Note 4 and it doesn’t offer as much in the software and warranty department like the Note 4.


  7. Tina Butler

    December 15, 2014 at 16:33

    I will buy anything which battery will lasts for more than 4 days and which does not want to upgrade it’s software every second day. I’m so gatvol of these constant upgrades. I want a phone that maybe needs a bi-annual or a quarterly software upgrade at most, not this weekly nonsense!


  8. Matthew Holliday

    December 15, 2014 at 16:40

    2 day battery life and durable glass?

    my upgrades coming up soon, and i managed to prove that the guerrilla glass on my lumia 925 is not actually unbreakable, although i had to try pretty hard to get it to crack, still usable though, so yeah, tough glass all the way.

    my lumia is a great phone, but the nokia store isnt exactly well stocked in the apps department, im not a big app user, but missing the simple things gets old pretty quick.


    • geelslang

      December 15, 2014 at 17:15

      The corners of the phone is actually plastic, its suppose to absorb shocks better when it falls. That said, with glass on both sides of the phone I would certainly do my best not to drop it.

      My wife has a Lumia for work and I like it, but the problem is 80% of the value of a smatphone lies in the apps you install, and here the Lumias fall short.


    • Lupus

      December 15, 2014 at 17:41

      Apparently the screen is really easy to break. Friends of mine have already broken theirs after less than a month also the camera feels sluggish.


      • Willem Swanepoel

        December 17, 2014 at 10:17

        If people pull their phones through their asses then it does not mean it is a bad quality phone. 😉


        • Lupus

          December 17, 2014 at 10:29

          Yup cause dropping it off a 30 cm high table and having it in you’re pocket is abusing it 🙁 even my tablet z screen isn’t great quality and that sits in a cradle


  9. Milesh Bhana

    December 18, 2014 at 17:07

    DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE!!!! it’s the flimsiest phone i’ve ever owned. I unfortunately dropped mine and it completely shattered. It seriously looks as if i’ve flung it at a wall or hit it with a hammer. Sony refused to cover this under warranty because physical damage is not covered and will try and charge you R4000 to fix it.

    I’ve owned a few smartphones and most will take a minor knock or two, but this has the worst build quality i’ve ever seen. I’ve been appealing to get this covered under warranty, but they’re not budging. It appears to be Sony Mobile’s MO to let you pay for their mistakes.

    If you already own one, best you get a cover AND insurance.

    Also, PS4 Remote Play doesn’t work well at all, the Bluetooth connection of the Controller interferes with the Wifi connectivity and the connection is incredibly unstable if you’re using a 2.4Ghz router. Apparently performance is better with a 5Ghz router, so unless you have one of those, you’d be out of luck. Bear in mind that i tested this in the same room as the PS4 and router and my PS4 was hooked up to the router via an ethernet cable and I’d switched off all my other devices on the wifi network. I was hoping to sit in another room (why else would you want remote play?) but that’s definitely not feasible and definitely does not work as advertised.


  10. brendanhohoho

    May 25, 2015 at 04:07

    It has a tough job on its hands battling with Samsung and Apple, but the Z3 is comparable in most ways short of a fingerprint sensor. A worthy contender for the next six months with the great battery life making it one of the best smartphones currently available.


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